Elbereth

MR38: Aftermath - A Ring Unmade

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MR38: Aftermath - A Ring Unmade

The man in the black hat sighed in disappointment. He’d gone along with this whole scheme specifically for the interesting consequences, and it was already falling apart. 

Unfortunate. 


The next time the Fellowship crossed a stream, Ulmo noticed with surprise that his Chosen weren’t with them. That would make things... difficult. 

But no matter - they would set out on their own, and somehow they would succeed. He was sure of it. And until they got to Mordor, he would protect them as much as he could. 

And, when they got to Mordor, he would have to join them in physical form. There was no water to connect with, there; but they would need his power. 


Peji watched her compatriots setting off on their foolish journey. She shook her head - she’d done her part. They had all the mithril they might need, and she’d managed to procure it without even raising too many eyebrows (well, until she stole that shipment, but by that point she was gone and no one knew it’d been her). 

But she had entirely no interest in going with them. Compared to the Fellowship, this scheme was far more doomed to fail even with the might of a Vala (if a slightly erratic one) on their side. 

So she would return to Moria, and hope for the best. The fate of the world would be in their hands, now. She just hoped her mithril would do the trick. 


Robin Smallburrow slogged through the swamp beside his companions, grimacing. Everything hurt. There were insects stinging him left and right, he’d walked non-stop for weeks on end, and they wouldn’t even let him stop for lunch, let alone second breakfast!

Ulmo had only joined them recently, as he claimed this was the last water he’d be able to access before they got to Morder itself. Robin wasn’t so sure - it didn’t feel like this journey could ever end. 

Not that he’d been very helpful thus far. He didn’t even need to eat or sleep, and was so eager for them to go on that he tried to push them well past what people were supposed to be doing in a day’s work. 

Robin caught sight of dark mountains ahead, through a gap in the fog. Maybe... maybe they were close. Maybe he’d finally be able to wear this Ring like they’d been wanting him to. Might even be fun, who knew?


Gwen, Robin, and Ulmo approached the base of Mount Doom. They were so close now! It almost made up for all of the disorder around her, and on this whole trip. 

More than ever, she missed the weight of the One Ring around her neck. Not being able to study it on the trip might have made this a fatally flawed mission - and beyond that, its powers would be incredibly useful right now. 

She growled in frustration. Why hadn’t the council seen that she should be the one to go? She’d held out against the Ring! She’d studied it, she knew it best of anyone, and yet they’d taken it away from her for that... that Striker, of all people. Why, he had no memory at all! 

Robin made a quiet questioning noise, and she whipped around to face him. “I told you, no noises,” she whispered harshly. She’d only emphasized that six different times on their way here! Why couldn’t people just listen

He nodded meekly at the expression on her face. Satisfied, she turned and continued leading them up Mount Doom. 

Soon they would be there. Soon, she would forge a new Ring with Peji’s mithril, more powerful than even the One Ring, and use its powers as she wished! Saving Middle Earth, yes, that was important, but she had other ideas as well. That much of a piece of Ulmo’s power had... interesting possibilities. 

Then the mountain beneath them began to shake. 


Striker was so tired. Tired of bearing this burden, feeling its whispers in his mind. He couldn’t remember anything before this journey, and that helped - but it didn’t help completely. 

They’d tried to take turns at first, of course. And it worked for a while, but then they’d had to go their separate ways - Aranmir to Gondor, Yuriel to ask for Lothlorien’s help, and the rest to their errands until on Striker and Rath were left in the end. 

Striker didn’t even trust Rath to take the Ring, anymore. Last time he had, Striker had nearly had to force it out of his hands, and the look in Rath’s eyes... 

But they were here now. Finally. They snuck together into the opening near the top of Mount Doom, looking around warily - and it was clear that this had once been a forge, but it was long abandoned now. Only the lava running through the room remained. 

Striker hesitated. Was this really such a good idea? He took off the chain holding the Ring, dangling it between his fingers and watching how the red glow reflected it into bizarre gold-red shapes. 

I can’t do this, he thought. I’m too weak.

Mesmerized, his hand rose towards the Ring without him even noticing. 

So Rath snatched the chain from his hands and, without giving himself a moment to consider, tossed it into the Fire. 

The ground began to shake. They scrambled out of the forge, running away, away - and stumbled headlong into Gwen, Robin, and... Ulmo? running up the mountain towards them. 

“What are you doing here?” Striker gasped. “We’ve got this - the Ring is gone and everything!”

Gwen sat down, hard. “But - I was supposed to be the one. You don’t understand - I wasn’t just going to save the world, I was going to change it. You’ve ruined everything!”

She lunged at Striker, but Robin and Rath held her back. 

“Well,” Ulmo said into the silence. “I guess my power won’t be needed after all. Well done, mortals. I suppose it’s back to Valinor for me...”

Within moments, he’d disappeared into mist and was gone. 

Gwen sagged. “No...” 

“So... why exactly were you here again?” asked Striker, lost as ever. 

And thus was Middle Earth saved. The End.


Striker was one of the Free People of Middle Earth! The Free People have won!

 

Striker (4): Bard, Fifth, Straw, Wibble

 

Player List

 

1. Straw - NPC, Astranwir the Blue Free People
2.  Fifth Scholar - Robin Smallburrow, hobbit Shirriff fleeing “Sharkey” Corrupted
3. Coda - Aidenn, scholar studying the effects of the Ring on the psyche Free People
4. Kasimir - Aranmir, a captain arriving from Gondor Free People
5. Amanuensis - Yuriel (First Finder) Free People
6. Xinoehp512 - the Observer Free People
7. Wonko the Sane - Gwendolyn (Elf from the Grey Havens) Corrupted
8. Pejidot Corrupted
9. Burnt Spaghetti - Tinuial (Clandestine Attendee) Free People
10. AragornFree People
11. StrikerEZ - Striker, bootleg Strider Free People
12. GoWibble - black hat from XKCD Corrupted
13. Rathmaksal Free People
14. Stink - Ulmo Corrupted
15. Young Bard - Phellom (Elf of Mirkwood) Free People

 

Docs

Master Spreadsheet
Corrupted Confederacy
The Valar, Again

Congratulations to the village for their win! Post mortem thoughts will be up later. And don’t forget to join the next game, which should go up within a couple days! 

Edited by Elbereth
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Noice. Black hat turns out to be working against mine and my team's desires!

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Good job everyone! This game was really fun, and I’m surprised at how well I did this game. This was definitely my best game as a villager, even if Fifth had me fooled until near the end. 

I wish I’d RP’d more, but it was hard to just find the time to read the thread and respond in PMs as it was. 

Anyway, thank you @Elbereth for running this amazing game!!!

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Good game to the Eliminators and Village :) Looks like inactivity was the bane (foe-hammer?) of both sides, though it's never quite that easy to balance for it beyond certain measures.

Great write-up, El - I loved the anti-climatic ending, and Rath, the first Villager on the Fellowship, grabbing the Ring and saving everyone is hilariously brilliant :P With the Corrupted arriving late to the scene.

I probably have had some strategic thoughts here and there/comments, but I think I've inflicted them enough on El and the spec doc by now :P Special thanks goes to @Fifth Scholar - I had rethought my position on PMs but he definitely persuaded me during Elan's MR to make better use of them, and I think I saw some of it in action across both iterations of El's MR, in terms of gaining trusts, and collecting information and just data for me to analyse and work out my suspicions. I do think the one-on-on format of the PMs really helped me convince other Villagers of my suspicions, though not always. (As I said, Bard was right - I was being paranoid :P )

I think what interested me was how little analysis it took to convince Bard of Wonko: I literally just shot him a one-line question asking him for his thoughts of Wonko's and Coda's vote on Fifth during Aman's election. It probably helped Bard was already suspicious of Coda, and that it's Bard I was talking to, but also, just - I find it an interesting reminder that sometimes you don't need to write long arguments to convince people. Asking an Armour Piercing Question or finding a Silver Bullet can work too :P 

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*Sigh.* I'm sad we didn't get to use the True Ring ending. :P

I definitely wanted to say that the reverse-lynch is a fascinating mechanic, that I'd love to see enter into the long-term SE lexicon. It proved a little difficult to balance, but I think that's a product of our total inexperience with it. It was a fun, unique twist on the game, and I think that once we get a better grasp on how it plays, there's a whole world of possibilities that it opens up. Bravo, El: this was really cool.

EDIT: I don't know if summons work in edits, but @Kasimir. If, instead of you, Striker had flipped good, would I have gained trust in your eyes? Because that was the point of "if Striker flips evil, I'm looking at you". I didn't communicate that well with my team, though, and Fifth ended up moving the vote to you, so it ended up looking like a very clumsy Eliminator play.

Edited by Wonko the Sane
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On 11/23/2019 at 1:29 AM, Wonko the Sane said:

EDIT: I don't know if summons work in edits, but @Kasimir. If, instead of you, Striker had flipped good, would I have gained trust in your eyes? Because that was the point of "if Striker flips evil, I'm looking at you". I didn't communicate that well with my team, though, and Fifth ended up moving the vote to you, so it ended up looking like a very clumsy Eliminator play.

Actually, not really. If Striker flipped Good, I would have read you as attempting to bluff me off the Striker vote, so I'd have been suspicious - just not suspicious/paranoid enough to flip the table and to try to get voted in >>;; The issue/context I think is that Striker was unanimously (at least among those I talked to) considered Village, so any resistance there wouldn't have seemed quite right to me. Of course, you could try to press me on the issue by reminding me that I had questioned the Rath lynch too, which I think might have made me hesitate, but ultimately I'm not sure how much ground I would have given there, since Striker had a better voting pattern than Rath did.

I think for me, on that penultimate cycle, the real question was me wasn't if you were evil - your voting pattern and what Fifth was doing stood out so much to me it'd have taken a lot more to shift me to someone else. The real question in my mind was what you were trying to do by bringing the Striker thing up, and what Fifth was trying to do by asking us to talk about the semi-actives (I didn't communicate this well either, but my guess was either an attempt to smuggle a semi-active Eliminator into the lynch, or to force a hurried ill-considered "oh well we talked about the semi-actives and focused on them but sorry we gotta vote actives anyway so let's just throw hasty votes" situation.) 

Anyway, thanks for GMing El, and I definitely hope to see this format return, as it's more Avalon than my Avalon game :P I myself have some ideas for this, if time permits in the future.

Edited by Kasimir
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